ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Health officials have approved on Friday the use of dexamethasone to treat seriously ill Covid-19 patients.
Earlier this week, researchers in the United Kingdom have confirmed that the cheap and widely available drug can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus.
“We reviewed the study report from the UK about Dexamethasone use for COVID-19 patients. Following recommendation from our clinical advisory group and Health professionals National advisory council,” said the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry “recommends the emergency use of low dose Dexamethasone for COVID-19 patients who require oxygen and/or mechanical ventilation for treatment”, it said.
The health officials also said they will make the details of this treatment protocol available soon.
After the major breakthrough of using Dexamethasone in the fight against the deadly virus, the World Health Organization welcomed preliminary results of its use in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients.
For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about 1/3, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about 1/5, according to preliminary findings shared with WHO.
“The benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with COVID-19, and was not observed in patients with milder disease,” said the WHO on Wednesday.
As of Thursday, Ethiopia identified a total of 3,945 COVID-19 patients including 65 deaths, after testing over 202,000 individuals. Over 900 patients have also recovered.